Concerned Learning Material Developers


SCAM ON LEARNING MATERIAL SALES

This topic contains 1 reply, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Lynel Farrell 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #25324

    I have noticed a scam among Learning Material clients, where by they advertising that they are looking for a specific Qualification to buy.

    • Once you reply that you have such qualification, they ask for a sample of a unit standard and alignment Matrix.
    • They do this all the developers who replied to their advert.
    • Once you send them the Matrix and a sample of the Unit Standard you will never hear from them again.
    • What they do, they collect different unit standards samples from different developers and then they develop a qualification.

    For developers PLEASE DON’T send pdf samples of Unit standards to the potential clients. it is much better to arrange a day where they can view the materials.

    Please my fellow developers advise the best way to solve this matter.

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  • #25355

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Limbani,

    Please send me an email to my personal email address shammond@iafrica.com with details of the person/s where this happened.  We have deleted members in the past for unethical behaviour.

    Thank you sylvia 

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  • #25354

    Alan Hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks for that great advice Limbani.

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  • #25353

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Sylvia for President!!!!!!!  Limbani, this is unfortunate the reality, and various discussions have been placed with this concern.  Hoping that this is not one of the members of skills universe, as this is not acceptable.  We want honest businesses and individuals.  Thank you for bringing this up again, please give details to Sylvia, we need to get rid of rotten apples, as it has a negative impact on those who works with integrity, honesty and ethical standards!

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  • #25352

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    This is best practice with anyone that wishes to purchase material, to ask for a small sample (perhaps 5 pages) and a matrix to see if all the SO’s and AC’s are covered. I will not purchase from another developer unless they can provide this, otherwise it is literally “buying blindly”. There are too many people out there that like me develop, but only do half a job. And many providers insist on this before they purchase. 

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  • #25351

    Pamela Huygen
    Participant

    Hi Lambini,

    To avoid this from happening, we send partial guides in PDF, clearly watermarked as a sample.  Never a full Learner or Facilitator guide. 

    This has worked for us in the past. I hope it can help you as well. 

    Kind regards,

    Pam

    http://www.smartscript.co.za

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  • #25350

    Wilma de Villiers
    Participant

    The provides that want to buy sit with a similar problem.  Sometimes the company is in another province and it is not possible to view the material.  One needs to trust the snippets that you receive of the material when deciding to purchase or not.  When you get the material is might not meet the same quality as the snippets.

     

    At my institution we need to request 3 quotes and then there are various aspects that gets evaluated before the final decision is made.  I usually ask for the contact details of another provider that is using the material – just to double check that the material meets the requirements for the field.

     

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  • #25349

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    Limbani contacted me a week or two ago to sell some of his material. He was unable to send me a partial learner guide and only a guide on on what Unit Standards were and SAQA etc, it was well put together, However I could not see the quality and like you I advised the following:

    Thank you, but with great respect this give me no idea of the Quality of your learning material? If you have followed all the AC’s and SO’s, if the CCFO’s have been adhered to. I have been in this industry for 20 years (writing course material) and if you wish to have success, it is a good idea to have samples or cores or electives of no longer than 10 pages as well as a alignment matrix doc.

    I wish you well!

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  • #25348

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the comments here. Is it possible from these comments to collectively develop a standard of what should be expected – and how to protect the intellectual property?

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  • #25347

    Marie Smith
    Participant

    Limbani, individuals or providers wishing to acquire learning materials do need insight into learning materials they intend to buy. It is, unfortunately a reality that there is an abundance of poorly developed materials out in the field, and many providers have burnt their fingers paying for sub-standard materials or materials that do not meet the requirements. It is not always possible to arrange a visit because of distance. But in our electronic age, much can be achieved.

    I would suggest that never send a full learner’s guide (or any other document) as a sample. Make an extract of certain parts of the learner’s guide and only a few of the assignments for summative assessment, especially at least one that has a practical component so the ‘evaluator’ can see that you have correctly designed the assessment. Send only the extracts. I make sure that I include the full contents page in my samples but not all the information.

    This way, they won’t have a full document to copy. Someone who knows what to look for, will be able to evaluate your materials from these extracts.

    Do send your alignment matrix as that is an important document indicating that every SO/AC has been covered (although there could still be problems).

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  • #25346

    Thokozani Absalom
    Participant

    The training packs contain activities to deliver with community groups, small service user groups, neighbourhood watch, housing associations, local Citizens Advice, colleges etc and are designed to be used as a whole workshop/ course or can be used as individual activities depending on the time and resources available to the facilitator. There are a range of activities to raise awareness of scams and to develop the skills and confidence to deal with them.

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  • #25345

    Pamela Huygen
    Participant

    Hi Sylvia,

    It is increasingly hard to protect our intellectual property; especially once a client has purchased and they have our material in Word format.

    We do sign a SLA stating that the client gets training rights only, may not resell under any circumstances etc but we find our material with strangers and even other developers selling it on a very regular basis.

    I agree with Marie Smith on sending extracts in PDF when it comes to samples. That has been working for us.

    Keeping the full unit standard or qualification safe is a much bigger problem.

    TETA has helped us quite a bit where this is concerned. We have a very long standing relationship with them and they know our material very well. They require a PDF letter from Smartscript on our letterhead stating that the client purchased the material from us, or they simply don’t give accreditation. I believe they require such a letter with all applications and it has been the developer’s savior for years.

    Other SETAs, such as Services are much bigger so it gets much harder here as they are not as familiar with the writing style and format of the different developers.

    It has been an ongoing battle for years.

    We are really hoping this will get better with QCTO.

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  • #25344

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Pamela,

    I would suggest that also goes to turnover of staff within SETAs, and the quality and level of staff handling these issues.

    This is confirmation to me that the QCTO taking over as soon as possible. That would create continuity, consistency, and some certainty.

    It also highlights that in restructures we need to consider how to retain competence, and the importance of institutional “memory”.  

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  • #25343

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    Great idea re the SETA asking for a letter!

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  • #25342

    Marie Smith
    Participant

    Pamela, the practice of SETAs requiring assurance that the rights to use of materials have been legally obtained is expanding. Both the ServiceSETA and the W&RSETA require an SLA, signed by BOTH parties, regarding the acquisition of materials. The MERSETA also.

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  • #25341

    Pamela Huygen
    Participant

    Hi Marie,

    I hear you and we sign one with every client that buys a qualification from us, but sadly these are very easy to fake if the SETA/evaluator is not intimately familiar with your material.

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  • #25340

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    I propose that the following be a standard:

    Full Matrix showing that everything has been covered.

    Samples of: LG, FG, POE, Assessment Guides (Formative and Summative) of at least 1 AC and its associated SO’s. 

    I know that this will satisfy any of clients as well as me when I deal with a new developer. 

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  • #25339

    I believe the best way to solve this problem is that the developer and the buyer needs to view the materials through Team View Software

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  • #25338

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Okay, I get it.  There is a solution, but the problem here is, that we do not have the power to implement this nationwide.  Hold, that thought.  These suggestions are important, but the powers that be, needs to see this.  So, I was thinking ………….. yes I was (believe it or not – its like Ripleys).  If a good standard can come out of this discussion (thank you Limbani) wouldn’t it benefit us, to forward this to the QCTO and to DHET?  The Setas won’t have much say on policies/templates and “red tape” stipulations very soon.  Very good ideas are coming out of this discussion, and an important way forward too.

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  • #25337

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Limbani I like that idea of viewing through software – then it’s just a case of deciding what content would be standard to be viewed.

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  • #25331

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    May I propose something here please.  There are some good ideas here, and clearly we need more input.  Let’s look at the following:

    1. If there would be a standard process for learning material throughout all the Setas, what would be best?

    2. Protection of the Developer and the SLA – a standard SLA that will be accepted by all Setas?

    I am willing to take your suggestions to DHET that will be dealing with standardisation – so your absolute input is important.  What’s the opinions/thoughts here?

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  • #25330

    Petra Penninkhoff
    Participant

    A standard SLA accepted by all SETAs would be great, but then there is still the issue of falsifying signatures etc. So we would needs a solution for that. 

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  • #25329

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    This would be fantastic, it protects all of us then and will certainly assist in weeding out the developers who are not compliant. 

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  • #25328

    Tass Schwab
    Participant

    Oh I like this suggestion! Great idea. 

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  • #25327

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Okay, where is all the experts?  Come on, time is ticking!  Give input to address these issues now, so that we can at least have an attempt to make it better.  There is much room for improvement, and good ideas will benefit all. 

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  • #25326

    Nigel Shipston
    Participant

    Hey Sister,

    Wasn’t there an issue with IP that QCTO addresses already? I know I have seen something about this in one of their publications.

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  • #25325

    Lynel Farrell
    Participant

    Hi Nigel, here we need to keep our focus for sure.  The QCTO is in total control of new occupational qualifications – so it is easier for them to address this with the new qualifications.  I think where the problem comes in (expert developers, help me if I am wrong please – I don’t mind being corrected), with legacy qualifications which have not gone through the application processes of moving over to the new qualifications, here is the big problem that is being faced by Developers and Providers. 

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